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Jailed pro-independence politician Oriol Junqueras is continuing his campaign, via multiple approaches, to regain his immunity as an MEP. The Catalan's lawyer, Andreu Van den Eynde, has now lodged an appeal with the EU's General Court asking to declare null the decision under which the president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, refused to protect Junqueras's parliamentary immunity, on 10th December last year.

The events go back to 10th October last year, when fellow Catalan Republican Left (ERC) representative Diana Riba petitioned the European Parliament to protect the immunity of Junqueras, elected in last April's European elections, but in early October still in provisional prison. The petition was rejected on 10th December by Sassoli himself, who considered Junqueras to be no longer an MEP. 

In the text submitted by ERC to the General Court, Oriol Junqueras's lawyer denounces that Sassoli made this decision unilaterally, ignoring the recommendations of the European Court of Justice's advocate general, who suggested waiting for the ruling from the Luxembourg court on the immunity question. A decision which finally found in favour of Junqueras nine days later, and led Sassoli himself to consider Junqueras an MEP until January 3rd, when Spain's Central Electoral Commission ruled that his seat was vacant.

 

This legal recourse is proceeding simultaneously with an appeal to restore the Catalan's MEP status through an injunction filed in the same court last January, to which Junqueras's defence team have yet to receive a response.

Below: flashback to the tension in the European Parliament on December 20th last year, when David Sassoli accepted the ECJ's ruling on Oriol Junqueras's status as an MEP.

 

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